Celebrating 100 years of singing with nightingales | Songlines
Friday, May 17, 2024

Celebrating 100 years of singing with nightingales

By Izzy Felton

This weekend, folk singer Sam Lee celebrates 100 years since the BBC's first live wildlife broadcast with some very special guests

The Nightingale S Song Adam Loften 1 (1)

Sam Lee © Adam Loften

This Sunday, folk singer Sam Lee will be performing in Sussex to celebrate a century since the BBC's first live wildlife broadcast. The event is in collaboration with RSPB live and will feature a nightingale and cello duet. The RSPB said they hope the event raises awareness of the dwindling number of nightingales in the UK.

Alongside cellist Tara Franks and other guest musicians, Sam Lee will recreate an enchanting collaboration between humans and nightingales, as first realised by cellist Beatrice Harrison 100 years ago. This performance is part of the 2024 Singing with Nightingales season, a seven-week residency highlighting the enduring bond between human music and the natural world.

The event is taking place at Knepp Rewilding Estate, which, over the last 20 years, has worked on restoring nightingale numbers in the area. A RSPB spokesperson said: “Like much of our UK wildlife, Nightingales are coming under increasing pressure from nature loss and a warming climate, which is why events like this are so important - to remind people of just how wonderful this bird is and how we should be doing as much as we can to help them.”

Singing with Nightingales comes as Sam Lee releases his latest album, Songdreaming, which has received widespread critical acclaim, including MOJO's Album of The Month in March. To listen to the performance, you can hear it live on BBC radio this Sunday.

Watch the live broadcast below:


Subscribe from only £7.50

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.


View the Current

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more